If TANGEDCO’s EIA is true, Ennore Air is Cleanest in City

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29 May, 2017. Chennai: City-based activists said they strongly suspect that the EIA prepared for TANGEDCO’s 660MW coal power expansion project in Ennore uses falsified and potentially fraudulent air quality data to justify the location of the polluting project in a heavily polluted area. Not one of the 216 samples taken by TANGEDCO’s consultant, Ramky Enviro Engineers, registers PM2.5 levels that deviate from a narrow range of 19.3 to 36.8 µg/m3; none exceeds the national annual ambient air quality standard of 40 µg/m3. If the EIA data is to be believed, air in the Ennore Manali industrial cluster is cleaner than in any other part of the city, including IIT, Poes Garden and Boat Club.

PM2.5 refers to highly toxic respirable dust measuring less than 2.5 microns in diameter. High PM2.5 levels are indicative of dangerous air pollution. Every 10 µg/m3 increase in PM 2.5, increases death rates by 3 to 26%, chances of childhood asthma by 16%, chances of lung cancer by 36% and of heart attack by 44%. In 2012, WHO declared that air pollution claimed 7 million lives – or one in eight global deaths. Continue reading

Coal ash from Ennore plant making air of neighbourhood unhealthy

Coal ash released by thermal power plants in Ennore may be polluting the air in Poes Garden and Boat Club, a study by The Coastal Resource Centre has found.

Air samples collected in Poes Garden and Boat Club contained components of coal ash like calcium and iron in elevated levels, making the air quality in the upmarket city neighbourhoods `unhealthy’.

The quality of air in Nallathanneer Odai Kuppam, a village near the thermal power plants was marked `very unhealthy’. It recorded a PM2.5 level of 220.30 microgram per cubic metre, against the permissible level of 60 microgram per cubic metre.

Environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman said, “When winds blow from north to south, they bring polluted air from Ennore into the city. Currently winds are blowing from the south to north, carrying polluted air from industries in Alathur into the city.“

Members of The Coastal Resource Centre collected 24-hour air samples from 11 locations in Ennore, Manali, Kodungaiyur, Kattupalli and parts of the city last month. The samples were analysed in Chester LabNet at Oregon, USA.

The air samples collected from Boat Club and Poes Garden were had particulate matter of 104 microgram per cubic metre and 101 microgram cubic respectively.

As per the standards of United States Environmental Protection Agency, the two neighbourhoods have `unhealthy’ air. This is a matter of concern for children, senior citizens and people with heart or lung disease.

A Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) official said, “We are closely monitoring the emission levels around the thermal plants in Ennore to ensure there are no adverse effects.“

The article appeared in The Times of India. Can be accessed here.

High level of pollutants in Chennai and Ennore air might be the reason for your health problems

Air quality of industrial areas are above the standards prescribed by the environment ministry. 

If you live in north or south Chennai, chances are that the deteriorating air quality is responsible for your health problems.

The air quality of industrial areas in Ennore, as well as in Poes Garden and Boat Club are above the standards prescribed by the environment ministry, according to a report by Coastal Resource Centre.

The centre took eleven air samples in and around North Chennai and Chennai city as part of their air quality study in Ennore 2016.  24-hour samples were taken using filters fitted to a low volume air sampler and analysed for PM 2.5 (Particulate Matter or dust less than 2.5 micrometers in size).

Image Courtesy: Coastal Resource Centre

The key documented sources of PM 2.5 pollution are automobile exhaust, burning of coal, burning garbage and landfill, smelting processing of metals.

Surprisingly, 10 out of the 11 air samples were between 1.4 and 3.7 times higher than prescribed by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. The air quality of Nallathaneer Odai Kuppam in Ennore is the highest with 220 micrograms per cubic meter air.

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Chennai’s air pollution alarmingly toxic: Study

CHENNAI: A study conducted by the Coastal Resource Centre has revealed that the air quality in Chennai is alarmingly toxic.
Shattering the commonly held belief that only industrial regions and parts of north Chennai need to worry about air pollution, the study showed that indicators in elite residential neighbourhoods like Poes Garden and Boat Club Road are not much better.

“Chennai can’t dream of clean air as long as Ennore, Manali and Alathur are industrial sacrifice zones,” said Shweta Narayan of Community Environmental Monitoring.

PM2.5 refers to particles that are smaller than 2.5 micrometres and are known to carry toxic chemicals and heavy metals.

“Samples collected from Sivanpadai Kuppam (Ennore),  NTO Kuppam, Kodungaiyur and Manali had PM2.5 levels that would be considered, by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), ‘very unhealthy’,” said environmental activist Nityanand Jayaraman. “Levels in Poes Garden and Boat Club Road would be considered ‘unhealthy’.”

The study took eleven 24-hour samples from Chennai and the edges of the Chennai Metropolitan Area in April 2017. Six of the worst samples were from north Chennai.

“This is a public health emergency,” said Dr Rakhal Gaitonde, a public health specialist. “Studies have shown linkages between PM2.5 and respiratory and cardiovascular problems. In addition, manganese and nickel are well-known toxins.”
Emphasising the devastating effects that such a situation has on people’s health, Dr Hissamudin Papa, Founder and Director, HUMA Hospitals, said: “Fifteen-year-olds looked like they were still eight,” he said. “Women faced hormonal, menstrual and infertility issues. Further exposure dermatitis and skin related problems were visible, however, it was being mistaken for psoriasis.”

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PRESS RELEASE : Dirty Industries in Chennai’s Edges Blow their Poisons to City Centre

Chennai, 10 May 2017: Air quality results from Poes Garden and the posh Boat Club indicate that the city cannot escape pollution by merely pushing all dirty industries to the poorer working class areas along the city’s margins, and particularly North Chennai. “Chennai can never dream of clean air as long as it considers Ennore, Manali in the north or Alathur in the south to be industrial sacrifice zones. Our experience from Delhi tells us that the sources of local air pollution may be tens of kilometres away from the city,” said Shweta Narayan of Community Environmental Monitoring.

Coastal Resource Centre took a total of eleven 24-hour samples from Chennai and the edges of the Chennai Metropolitan Area in April 2017. Six of the worst samples are from locations in North Chennai – from NTO Kuppam on the Ennore Highway, Manali, Sivanpadai Kuppam (near Ennore Thermal Plant), Kodungaiyur, Kuruvimedu (near Vallur Thermal plant’s coal ash pond) and Seppakkam (near NCTPS’ coal ash pond). The samples collected at Sivanpadai Kuppam (Ennore), NTO Kuppam (Ennore Highway), Kodungaiyur and Manali had levels of PM2.5 that would be considered by the U.S. EPA as “Very Unhealthy – People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid all physical activity.”

Levels of PM2.5 in Poes Garden and Boat Club would be considered by the U.S. EPA as “Unhealthy — People with heart or lung disease, older adults, and children should avoid prolonged or heavy exertion.”

Factsheet Finalpdf.jpgThe elevated levels of iron and calcium in all samples, including from Poes Garden and Boat Club, suggest that coal combustion in industrial or power plant boilers may be a significant contributor to the urban pollution load. “There is a case to be made that emissions from coal ash dumps, thermal plants and industrial boilers, which can be re-suspended, has created regionally elevated levels of iron and calcium particulates in Chennai,” said Dr. Mark Chernaik, staff scientist at US-based NGO ELAW-US, who interpreted the results.

The Ennore region alone has 3330 MW of installed coal power plant capacity, with more than 1500 acres as dedicated coal ash dumps. Another 6430 MW is proposed to be added in the coming years taking total capacity to 10,000 MW.

”The high concentration of polluting industries in the city’s northern and southern edges is affecting all of Chennai,” said Dr. Hisamuddin Papa, a leading pulmonologist from Huma Hospital. “North Chennai, with its dense working class population is particularly vulnerable as poor health exacerbates their poverty. But we cannot help them until existing industries continue to pollute, and more polluting industries are allowed to come up here,” he said.

For more details:  Pooja Kumar: +91 9791122180.

Note: The 24-hour samples were taken using filters fitted to a low volume air sampler and analysed for PM2.5 and heavy metals in Chester LabNet at Oregon, USA.

Public Hearing Announcement for 1 x 660 MW Ennore Thermal Power Station (Replacement)

Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board has announced the Public Hearing for the 1 x 660MW Ennore Thermal Power Station (Replacement) scheduled to be held on the 30th of May 2017 at Camp – 1 of the ETPS complex in Ennore.

EIA can be accessed here : May 2017 – Environmental Impact Assessment for 1 x 660 MW Ennore Thermal Power Project Replacement – TANGEDCO

Once a biological hotspot, biodiversity in the Ennore Creek has been steadily declining. In the 1960s, the Manali Industrial Area and Ennore Thermal Power Station were set up encroaching on wetlands connected to the creek. The industrialisation and consequent degradation intensified starting in the 1970s with the setting up of  ETPS (1970s) NCTPS (1980s), KPL (2000) and the Vallur Thermal Power Plant about five years ago. In what would be the 4th addition to the already overburdened Ennore thermal power cluster, the commissioning of the Ennore Thermal Power Station Replacement will be yet another cut in the lives and livelihoods of thousands of fishermen living in the region.

Watch this space for more updates.

ETPS-Replacement PH

Breathing is Injurious to Health

Ennore is a densely populated, working class area of North Chennai – Chennai’s sacrificial lamb. This region is targeted with a disproportionate concentration of polluting industries – a garbage dump, coal-fired thermal power plants, chemical and petrochemical industries, ports, coal yards and fly-ash dykes. Ennore is both a site of vicious environmental discrimination, and the epicentre of a community struggle to end the discrimination, revive the Creek and restore fisher livelihoods.

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#UnmaskMyCity #ToxicTales #SaveEnnoreCreek

Dr. S. Killivalavan has been practicing in Kattukuppam since 1984. His is one of the few private medical clinics in the area and is always abuzz with patients. Fertiliser companies, coal-fired thermal power plants, a phosporic acid plant and heavy vehicle traffic to and from the two ports further north make this area an air pollution hotspot.

The doctor reports a stark increase in respiratory diseases. “Seventy percent of the cases I see are respiratory diseases. One could claim that the humidity in the area, because it’s so close to the sea, is causing respiratory disease and fungal infection – which also I see a lot – but I can certainly say that the high rate of respiratory disease is because of the air pollution,” he says. “Lots of people have left the area unable to manage medical expenses. How can one explain this?”

Sign Our Petition here : http://unmaskmycity.org/project/chennai/

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#UnmaskMyCity #ToxicTales #SaveEnnoreCreek

டாக்டர் எஸ். கிள்ளிவளவன் 1984 ம் ஆண்டிலிருந்து காட்டுக்குப்பம் பகுதியில் பயிற்சி செய்து வருகிறார். இவ்வூரில் தனியார் மருத்துவ மருந்தகங்கள் ஒரு சிலவே உள்ளன. டாக்டர் கிள்ளிவளவனவின் கிளினிக் அவைகளில் ஒன்றாகும். எப்பொழுதும் நோயாளிகளின் கூட்டம் அலைமோதும். இங்குள்ள உர நிறுவனங்கள், நிலக்கரி எரிக்கும் அனல் மின் நிலையங்கள், ஒரு ஃபாஸ்ஃபோரிக் அமில ஆலை மற்றும் கனரக வாகனங்களின் புகை இப்பகுதியை காற்று மாசுபாட்டை பொறுத்தவரை ஒரு ஹாட்ஸ்பாட்டாக (மாசு அளவுகள் மிக அதிகமாக உள்ள இடம்) மாற்றியுள்ளன.

இங்கு சுவாசம் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட நோய்கள் அதிகரித்துள்ளன என டாக்டர் கிள்ளிவளவன் தெரிவிக்கிறார். “என்னைப் பார்க்க வரும் நோயாளிகளில் 70% பேர் சுவாசம் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட நோய்களால் பாதிக்கப்பட்டுள்ளனர். இப்பகுதி கடலுக்கு சமீபத்தில் உள்ளதால், இங்குள்ள மிகுதியான ஈரப்பதமும் சுவாச நோய்கள் மற்றும் பூஞ்சை தொற்று நோய்க்கும் – இப்பகுதியில் இதுவும் அதிகமாக பார்க்கிறேன்- ஒரு காரணமாக இருக்கலாம். ஆனால் இங்குள்ள காற்றின் மாசு தான் சுவாசம் சம்பந்தப்பட்ட நோய்களின் அதிகரிப்பிற்கு காரணம் என்று என்னால் கண்டிப்பாக சொல்ல முடியும்”, என்று டாக்டர் சொல்கிறார். “மருத்துவ செலவுகள் பெருகிய காரணத்தினால் நிறைய மக்கள் இப்பகுதியை விட்டே சென்று விட்டார்கள். இதை எவ்வாறு விளக்க முடியும்?”.

எண்ணூர், வட சென்னையில் உழைக்கும் வர்க்கத்தினர் அதிகமாக வாழும், மக்கள் தொகை அடர்த்தி அதிகமுள்ள ஒரு பகுதி – சென்னையின் பலியாடு. நகரத்தின் வேறு பகுதிகளை ஒப்பிட்டு பார்த்தால், இப்பகுதியில் மட்டும் மாசு விளைவிக்கும் பல தொழிற்சாலைகள் அளவுக்கு அதிகமாகவே உள்ளன – ஓரு குப்பை கிடங்கு, அனல் மின் நிலையங்கள், இரசாயன மற்றும் பெட்ரோ கெமிக்கல் தொழிற்சாலைகள், துறைமுகங்கள், நிலக்கரி கிடங்குகள் மற்றும் நிலக்கரி சாம்பல் செயற்கரைகள். சுற்றுச்சூழலை பொறுத்தவரை உள்ள இந்த பாரபட்சத்தை எண்ணூரில் நேரடியாக காணலாம். ஆனால் இந்த ஊர், இந்த பாகுபாட்டின் ஒரு கோடூரமான எடுத்துக்காட்டாக மட்டும் விளங்காமல், இந்த பாரபட்சத்தை முடிவு கட்டவும், க்ரீக்கை புதுப்பிக்கவும், மீனவ வாழ்வாதாரத்தை மீட்பதற்கும் நடக்கும் ஒரு சமூகத்தின் போராட்டத்திற்கு ஒரு மையப்புள்ளியாகவும் விளங்குகிறது.

இங்கே எங்கள் மனுவில் கையெழுத்திடுங்கள் : http://unmaskmycity.org/project/chennai/